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tv   [untitled]    August 12, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT

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level consolidation project. as i said, there are about 10,000 accounts that will ultimately be consolidated out of the 15,000. the net difference is the 4000 that will not be consolidated. i still cannot tell you exactly how the 10,000 accounts will percolate up for the number of true businesses. i spoke about the 15,000, and i gave you the gas station. obviously, those 12 accounts are now going to aggregate to one business, so we are still working through the process of cleaning and mapping the businesses to figure out exactly who goes to watch. we will be doing some work around communication, working with your organization, as well. we will do an early mainly to businesses to communicate that this is what this is like. we think that maybe some businesses that have licenses,
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that they no longer do, that they have not activated them. they have been inactivated in a timely manner. i would say one of the key things that we have discussed, point for the small businesses are potentially painful but i want to put up on the table is the licenses right now, as you know, you have to pay for it in the entirety. it is something you have to pay for. we do not allow partial payments, because, frankly, that would increase the cost and the inspection cycles, and it is for a full year, analyzing. -- annualizing. paying for the entirety of the bill, which is why it is really important that we be really clear in advance. this is what we think your bill is going to be. you have an opportunity to inactivate. something you do not do anymore.
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the key benefit will allow us to do this on line. our online payment efforts have been particularly successful due to the last cycle moving more than 50%, in some cases a% of our stuff online, 90% for filing, so that has allowed us to do that, and, frankly, that is more accurate. we have a cycle similar to what we do for registration, which was around a 72-hour turnaround by moving things online. so that is it in a nutshell. we have had some discussions with the subcommittee about the impact. we have the standardized on march because the cost impact was already the greatest in march. it was the most nominal about point. public health, for that matter, which has a series of licenses.
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there a pro license is already in march, said the incremental change is still something, but it is phenomenal compared to if we moved it to another timeline. so that is one of the reasons why we chose to standardize on march. we have had challenges with the june dates and the august dates because the budget is being passed, and many times, the sea is not completely settled. is the department increased it, or it is cpi adjusted, that is not nailed and to write around now, and that makes it more precarious about what structure to use, so that was the of the rationale. i will open it up for discussion and conversation. thank you. president george bush -- president o'brien: thank you.
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commissioner yee riley? commissioner yee riley: this will save a lot of time and save a lot of trees, so thank you. president o'brien: i agree with what commissioner yee riley said. i think you're simplifying it. paying online will increase revenue. welcome to the 21st century. president o'brien: commissioner clyde? vice president client: -- clyde: think you for your presentation.
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-- thank you for your presentation. this is right after income taxes are due and right after the difficult time of the year, at least in the hospitality industry typically, so there will need to be quite a vote bit of outreach done -- there will need to be quite a bit of outreach done. there was a wisdom in these fees and licenses being issued at different times throughout the year, so it will take some significant outreach. i believe for the smaller businesses and people who might be encountering cash flow problems. i do know, i will say that i believe the tax collector's office generally works with taxpayers to the best of their ability, and i would like to just hope that as you develop this rollout that you have some room to assist people in case, you know, inadvertently they are not going to be -- we know that
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in the downturn, the tax collector and the treasure worked very hard to minimize the impact on businesses and help them pay, so it really is a concern, is a figure for the work that you have done. i agree it would be very helpful to see a consolidated bill. my question, will the payroll tax be the same? will it be analyzed, with quarterly or biannual payments? >> at this time, i do not believe there have been any legislative changes. president o'brien: seeing no further commissioner comment, is there any public comment?
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commissioner: there was a meeting last week that it is time to start going out and informing businesses which would obviously be doing some work on that. we put it in our news letter that went out last week. so, again, trying to make sure that businesses are informed, educated, we already did get one response, which was very interesting, from a business that had three locations, and we are looking forward to this. i think we're going to have a great number of businesses that are going to be really pleased, and when i think about our caf├ęs, those are operated at a really small margins. as much information we can get out. the fact that we are able to take payment with credit cards it, i think -- yes.
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to help deal with the cash flow. commissioner: would you be willing to come to merchants' associations to talk about this? >> yes, we are happy to coordinate and do any outreach and sort of early discussion. commissioner: yes, and merchants would be happy to hear about this. it would be something positive for the city. >> just to make sure we are clear, we are very sensitive to the needs of adoption. we are really working very hard to make sure we deal with the notification to make sure we can both prepare financially, and let's be honest, to really make sure what we have is accurate, that we are not even remotely -- that may not be the case all of the time. president o'brien: ok, thank
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you. much appreciated. next item, please. clerk: commissioners, you are now on item 7, the presentation and discussion on the possible impact fees for 3176 17th street. we have a presentation from sommer pederson. commissioner, any remarks? commissioner: i invited sommer pederson to be year to talk about your experience with the impact fees. we're going to be coming up with doing some discussions about some joint agenda items with the planning commission, so this is designed to be an informational presentation to you in terms of what our small
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businesses, especially those looking to open businesses in the eastern neighborhood, with the impact of the eastern neighborhood, and the mta transit fee, and so, i have invited sommer to be here with a presentation. you know, in terms of preparing for you as we move forward, looking at this topic that has been on the committee project list. commissioner: 0, again. >> could evening. -- good evening. we learned a lot of this year about opening a business. it has been an eye-opener.
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i'm going to present our experience, highlighting the experience of impact fee. we started this project last may, 2010, and i will take you through the steps. we began our warehouse search in the mission district, of which is our business model demographic. we looked at many different demographics which could be affordable off for our business plan. all of the warehouse is we looked at arizona dpr -- were zoned pdr 1. we were advised to get a letter of the determination to get a clear answer. in september 2010, we chose our location and requested a letter
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of determination by the planning department 4 $577. we asked if a bowling alley and anbar were allowed. in november 2010, we received a letter of determination. the letter stated that a bowling alley was allowed but the restaurant, bar area was limited to 22500 square feet. we felt we could work with this restriction. we were also told we would be subject to a neighborhood impact the of the $3 per square foot for the space, equalling $24,000. our warehouse is approximately 8000 square feet. we may be subject to an npa and -- mta impact fee of the $10 per square feet at $80,000. the planner could not determine the fees are she directed me to
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the administrator, jay. this was a huge concern as we are a small business and we could not afford this. with this question in mind, we polled questions on -- customers on transportation. we had planned to install like a parking. since we are not a business operating tear careened -- during business hours, it should not burden or impact muni. in november 2010, i contacted the that he administrator about these fees. i spoke with jay and how he would calculate the amount we would have to pay. this was a confusing conversation as he was referencing credit that would be adjusted and going to the fee we were paying. i thought he was telling me they would be combined due to the credit he was referring to. i found out i was wrong last
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week. in january 2011, when we finally signed the lease. january through march we began the architectural drawings and a fund-raising as investors -- in may 2011, when submitted our change of use to the planning department. in july 26, 2011, the planning department approved our change of use application. we are very excited. our planner compote -- calculated the fees to be $24,000 which we had budgeted for. when i asked for confirmation the mta fee was included, he said that was different. my jaw hit the floor and i was in disbelief. i contacted jay to discuss within the conversation we had in november 2010.
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he calculated our feet to be $19,000 based on our square footage of the warehouse. i explained our retail area was under 2500 square feet as was required. he understood the issue and recommended the planning department would need to advise him to treat the bowling area within the zoning so our feet could go down. this could save us about $15,000. we are working on this with the office of economic work force and the office of work force development. how these are impacting s, these fees seemed to have been designed for retailers that are creating new construction. the fees are way for them to give back to the community they are potentially impacting. the eastern neighborhood he was designed to protect industrial spaces from getting swallowed up by new developments, restaurants fall into that
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category. we're not developers nor are we taking away a a building. a restaurant is staying under the required 2500 square feet. we are -- why are we getting fees on the entire space when retail it is a quarter of that? we are adding 20 local jobs and in an enterprise zone. we are also adding a lot of tax revenue. that would have a positive impact on the neighborhood. we are running out of money to complete our construction. we are looking for help for these debilitating fees. if we cannot get assistance, and it could force is to move out of the city or give up on the business entirely. we have been struggling with this whole situation. $44,000 in potential fees based on taking an abandoned
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warehouse is really frustrating for us and hard as we are a small business. i am open to questions. >> thank you for that eliminating presentation. vice president adams: i think it is crazy. i wanted to -- i am glad you're talking to the office of small business. i think they could help you out. what could we do so that we can get planning and sf -- to talk to each other. i think that is ridiculous. i am going to get on my soap box. you are a small business. you are changing -- i like the thing you said. it has been vacant for three years.
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i understand what they're doing in the eastern neighborhoods but it is defeating the purpose of what the project is supposed to be. it is a bowling alley. it should be under 2300 square feet. >> the bowling alley takes up a huge chunk. commissioner adams: i feel their frustration. i want to see this bowling alley built. >> it was so frustrating. he recommended i reach out to the city agencies to help with the planning. the biggest frustration is that the planning department wrote the letter of determination saying that boeing was permitted but we have fees on the entire space. we will pay for the retail. we understand it goes back into the community. we want to help and give back as we can afford. but paying $14,000 between the
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-- $44,000 is a big deal. we're going to open without furniture. commissioner adams: this is the kind of bureaucracy that is a problem and a hindrance. >> why should she be moving back and forth between departments? if you have your plants and you show them to the mta, then this is equally a problem going back and forth and getting, being told guests and then been told -- yes and then being told no. >> he did say, talk to the office of small business and the office of economic work force. have them write a letter so the planning department can advise me how to see you. i am looking at a floor plan and are letter saying it is right here but he needed all of those steps.
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that is part of the process. commissioner riley: d you have any suggestions as far as how we can help? >> there are a couple of things that are going to take place. there will be a joint committee meeting. we will need to include the sfmta. we need to look at the impact fees and how they are applied. that is more long-term. i think in the short term, the commission can direct staff to write a letter to all departments in regards to who administers the impact fees. in our current economic climate, considerations may need to be given. what is most important for the economy is job growth. commissioner clyde: i wanted to say that this week i had a
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similar conversation with a different business. it took almost two years to turn a small cafe into a cafe /restaurant. it took two years because of planning and the building department and the building inspector, you know, having problems within their own department and doing advocacy for the smallest little business. i just heard a very similar story costing the person a lot of money and a lot of time trying to straighten these things out. i agree with the director that jobs are number one. you are to be commended for hanging in here. i am sure that with this example and others, the advocacy can be applied to show that it is in their best interest to get people up and operating.
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just getting that as opposed to, let's just cover ourselves or make sure, getting you up and open is the highest thing that they can do. >> we appreciate that. the biggest thing that i keep thinking about is that the fee structure is exactly the same for me as a small-business person is a large scale developer. as i was researching how mta comes up with their fee schedule, a lot of it has to do with the burden, they continue to use the word burden, on ridership. there would be more of a bird in during peak hours because they might have to add more bus lines. we are having about 20 staff per day. they will be hired locally. we opened after 5:00 p.m.
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we do not see where that burden comes from. when i asked the planning about an exemption, they never heard of that. shouldn't the hours of operation be something? the the amount of employees? shouldn't there be, a sliding scale? what is the use? if 6000 square feet is a bowling lane and there's only going to be 36 people, how come we are being charged all of this or footage? maybe there are some gray areas. it seems like ours are it definitely something. we are opening after 5:00 p.m. people are not committing to a bowling alley. that should cut that in half. >> i would like to make an observation. i only travel on public transportation. nighttime hours, there is plenty
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of available transportation. that is a very good point. commissioner dooley: i am not sure if this is proper but we have another business from the same area. i was wondering if we could call him up to share his experiences. >> i would like to hear another experience that nobody has any objection? please, come forward. >> my name is aben. i completely feel this person's paints. n. we see positive impact of what it is like to have a new business to come to an area. we just opened a new store and we had 16 months of what we --
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you went through. it is a very difficult. it is a difficult climate. i agree with you 100%. the focus should be on jobs. the idea is that there are jobs that impact the community is more important than walmart's in neighborhoods. i come from a small business perspective. my experience is that there it -- this is nothing but a positive to the community. there needs to be some waivers and situations that allow small businesses to grow and thrive in a place that was previously empty. we have seen what it is like when you are around empty buildings spending half of your day chasing drug situations. the impact is when a business comes in. it makes a community great. like anything, if this woman cannot open a business, we
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become a city of big businesses. me i do not think tourists come for sacramento with bills. we want to see her grow. we have been blessed by the city of san francisco supporting what we do. we would like a perspective of supporting something interesting, something vital that is a positive to the community. thank you. >> got any further comment? commissioner adams: thank you for that. more people need it -- need to hear that kind of comment. people come here not to go to the chain stores. stores like yours is what makes this city you need. i would like to go back to what you said about directing staff to writing a letter. can i motion that? >> can i add, if there are
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concepts to work with, we have a done, with our contract and, we have increased credit for lbe's to be able to increase their participation. i think we can get creative with some concepts. we can define and create some a distinctions between a larger entities or development projects and residential development projects. in relationship to our smaller businesses. i want to put that concept out that perhaps directing the city to take a look at ways, when we are developing these fees, that this particular fee was
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developed in 2001 with a particular study. especially in this economic climate, we need to get created so we're stimulating job growth. >> i would also agree with everything that has been said. i am just curious to know, and this is just your opinion that i am seeking, buit sounded as though there was some confusion on the lack of clarity. i think you were given a figure of 80,000 at one time and then it was adjusted to a different figure. is it an observation that there is a lack of clarity? >> i believe there are a lot of gray areas. in the letter of determination i received in 2010 when a reference the eastern neighborhood impact the and stated there may be a fee of up to $10 per square foot. when i reached out to the fee
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administrator and i asked him about the $10 fee, i do not understand. somebody might take a bus and its $80,000? he said there are credits. this is where i think i misunderstood him. it was a verbal conversation. he cannot make anything until he has our plans. it was very hypothetical. basically, i gave him the breakdown. he said it could be up to $10 per square foot if it is new construction. then he said we would subtract depending on how many years it has been vacant. we would subtract certain dollar amounts. it was a confusing conversation but he kept referencing credits. the credit would end up being a significantly less. what i found out recently was he meant that th


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